UK staff are more likely to give up work to care for relatives

An international poll carried out by the global reinsurer Swiss Re found that the proportion of British workers considering this option is almost twice as much as the average seen across 19 other countries surveyed.

The Global Risk Perception Survey revealed 30.1 per cent of British workers would leave their jobs or reduce their hours to care for a loved one, followed by 25.2 per cent of Brazilian workers and 24.1 per cent of the Australian workforce.

To help meet the cost of long-term care, a quarter of British workers would also consider buying insurance and 20 per cent would use their savings.

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Russell Higginbotham, chief executive officer of Swiss Re UK and Ireland, said the findings were timely, given the UK government’s intention to “clarify personal and state responsibility for care”.

He added: “It is further evidence that we must find better ways to fund care for older people who need it, in a way that suits them, along with their families. The insurance industry can help play a role in this.”

The research came as care charity Leonard Cheshire Disability began a campaign to end 15-minute home care visits, a common practice that it uncovered when it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to local authorities.

Ros Altman, the independent pensions and care consultant, said the short visits were the result of private equity-owned care firms “putting profit first” and offering “appalling” employment conditions for their staff.

Lorreine Kennedy, IFA at Hertfordshire-based CareMatters, said: “It is a conversation that does come up and it is motivated by a desire to keep an asset. They say their parents have worked hard all their lives and would hate to lose their house.

“They would like to bring them into their home, but caring for somebody is incredibly hard. As much as you love them, your dignity can be stripped at times and it can put a huge strain on your relationship with them.”

Top-five places where people would give up work to care for elderly relatives

UK 30.2 per cent

Brazil 25.2 per cent

Australia 25 per cent

US 24. 1 per cent

Germany 23.1 per cent

Source: Swiss Re